Last month, I talked about how as a solopreneur, I still have a team that supports me in growing and scaling my business.
As a business development consultant, I’ve become a part of several teams that are also growing and scaling. My clients are in a variety of industries but they have a few things in common. They are excellent in their fields. They know their differentiators. They are strategic about how they want to grow.
Jumping on to their teams has taught me a lot about being a good team member and a lot about my business. I had an epiphany this year that was sparked by several fellow business owners and how they run their businesses. I was still processing how I thought about it when I heard Caren Schweitzer speak at a recent conference. Caren is Creative Resource Agency’s CEO. Her advice was to be obsessed with your customer.
When she said that, all the different things I’d been considering about how I can truly be a resource in all of my customers achieving their goals clicked into place. As a customer yourself, can you think of products and services that you use that show they are obsessed with you (and not in the data tracking, stalking creepy way)? I can’t think of many who aren’t just obsessed about getting in front of my eyeballs.
I had also just read Big Friendship by Aminatou Sow and Anne Friedman and they called one of the chapters in the book “Obsessed”, that feeling you get when you meet someone new and want to know everything about them. I felt a little jolt of synchronicity when I heard the same phrase but in a business context.
This post was in the works when I heard Caren’s presentation. Her delivery, or hearing it at the right time, made it even more clear that what I’m presenting to my clients is not a download of all the information I’ve accumulated in the last 20 years of working with business owners. What I’m doing is helping my clients be the best business owners they can be and I’m not providing the information they need then waltzing off. I’m creating a little clone of myself within their organizations.
If I’m obsessed with my clients, I don’t want to leave them. I want to leave a little part of me in that company as it grows and changes.
Often business owners talk about cloning themselves so they can handle all the things going on in their organizations. It’s almost a cliché, the business owner’s fantasy of reaching scale without the time energy and resources other people demand. But in this version, becoming obsessed means being that team member that makes their life easier.